Kokx claims Hamai title for eighth time
SPRECKELSVILLE – Saturday capped a big week for Bobbi Kokx.
The former University of Hawaii women’s golf coach and current 3rd grade teacher at Puu Kukui Elementary School fired a 2-over-par 74 to win the championship flight of the Lester Hamai Memorial Golf Tournament for the eighth time on Saturday at Maui Country Club.
The win came five days after Kokx married Marlene Young in Sacramento, Calif.
“I was really pleased,” Kokx said. “I shot 39 on the front, which is 3 over, and so I was a little bit disappointed. I felt as though I was striking the ball well, but wasn’t hitting the greens or making the putts. So, on the back nine, I was hitting more greens and putting quite well, so it was a Jekyll and Hyde round.”
Kokx clinched the title when Mia Hew three-putted the final green for a 75 moments after Kokx had finished.
“I love playing Maui County Club, I love playing with my friends,” Kokx said. “Everyone is competitive yet we are cheering each other on. I play more for the camaraderie than I do to win a tournament, but I haven’t won a tournament in a while, so it is really exciting for me.
“I want to beat my friends and they want to beat me. A one-day tournament, you really don’t know what’s going to happen. It did, it came down to one putt at the end.”
There are no leaderboards on the 6,330-yard course.
“That’s the thing about golf – what they do has no consequence over what I’m doing,” Kokx said. “So, I just need to go out and grind it out and that’s what I did. I shot 39-35, so I was able to turn it around.
“It just comes down to who is going to try the hardest and not give up.”
Hew, a two-time Hamai winner, said, “Bobbi was too good today. Many times I have played this event – lots of fun.”
Desiree Ting (77) was third at 77 and Tricia Shoemaker was fourth at 78.
After five bogeys over the first seven holes, to go along with birdies on Nos. 6 and 9, Kokx settled down on the back with birdies on 10 and 15 before a final bogey on 16.
“The wind started picking up, which played in my favor, I think,” she said. “I like it a little bit windy because when it’s still I think it brings more people into the mix. When the wind blows a little bit I feel as though it plays to my strength.”
The win ranked as the second-best part of Kokx’s week.
“I just flew in from Sacramento on Thursday,” she said. “So I guess I’m on a honeymoon high.”
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com
LESTER HAMAI MEMORIAL GOLF TOURNAMENT
At Maui Country Club
Low gross-Bobbi Kokx 74.
Low net-Laurel Shelton 65.
Low gross-Mia Hew 75.
Low net-Jamie Arnold 66, Tricia Shoemaker 68, Yoshiko Rawson 70, Ernette Asato 70, Shirley Nishikawa 72.
Low gross-Myriam Takamatsu 90.
Low net-Leona Silva 68, Malia Hokoana 71, June Gushi 71, Mary Schwabenland 72, Lynne Eash 73.
Low gross-Faith Nakamoto 94
Low net-Diane Fru 68, Laurie Ah Sau 69, Rhonda Pang 70, Ann Nakagawa 72, Mae Karimoto 73.
Closest to the pin, No. 16-Lena Kawano 9-4.
Most accurate drive, No. 12-Frances Rocha 2-7.